Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Child and adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapy, is a specialised approach to working with children, adolescents and their families.  It differs from many other forms of therapy as it aims to assist in gaining a greater understanding and awareness of one’s inner world.  Emotional distress in young people is often reflected in their behaviour or the way in which they are experiencing the world around them.  A psychodynamic approach focuses on uncovering what it is that a young person may be trying to communicate through their behaviour.  Through this new understanding a working through of these difficulties can begin.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy provides an effective treatment for a range of psychological concerns.  The goal of this form of therapy is not simply to manage difficulties or to overcome immediate troubles, but rather to help young people develop a real understanding about themselves and to reach their fullest potential.

Lucianne works with young people experiencing a wide range of difficulties that may be impacting on their development and their personal relationships with family, friends, peers and school work.


These may include:

  • low mood/depression
  • anxiety
  • acting out or aggressive behaviour
  • family relationship difficulties
  • peer relationship difficulties
  • trauma
  • bereavement
  • sleeping difficulties
  • difficulties with adjustment or transition.

What to expect

​Parents or carers are invited to attend an initial parent consultation (without the young person present) with Lucianne.  This consultation helps to gain an understanding of the concerns that brings you or your child to seek therapy.  With Lucianne, together you will explore your child’s social, emotional and developmental history as well as talk about what can be expected throughout the initial assessment process.

After the initial consultation with parents, Lucianne spends a few sessions (usually 2 or 3) to get to know your child and to have some experience of each other within the therapeutic setting.

Following this process, Lucianne will invite parents to meet again to think together about what might be most helpful going forward.  If therapy is considered appropriate, the process will depend on the needs of the child/adolescent and their family.  The frequency and duration of therapy varies depending on the nature of the concerns.  Some children or young people may benefit from attending weekly sessions, whilst others may manage well with less frequent visits.  Similarly, some are able to overcome their difficulties and return to developmentally appropriate activities within a short period of time, whilst others require more longer-term support.

Lucianne incorporates a variety of developmentally appropriate therapeutic approaches to her work with young people that are tailored according to their age and developmental stage.  Psychotherapy sessions may incorporate creative means of expression and communication.  For instance, children do not usually talk directly about their feelings or difficulties but rather communicate through play using toys, drawings or art work.  Older children or adolescents might prefer to talk directly about their experiences.

Lucianne views psychotherapy as a collaborative process.  If a child is engaged in psychotherapy, parental involvement is important and periodic meetings with parents are offered throughout therapy.  At times, a recommendation may be made for parents to engage in child-focused parent work with another professional, to privilege and protect the child’s therapeutic space.  Lucianne also works collaboratively with schools and other professionals involved in your child’s care when this is considered to be appropriate.